PC(USA) sends condolences, prayers to victims of shootings outside Jewish facilities
April 14, 2014
It is with a heavy heart that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers its condolences for the loss of life and suffering associated with the recent shootings at a Jewish community center and senior living community in a Kansas City, Mo., suburb.
“We grieve for those whose lives were ruthlessly taken in this senseless act of violence,” said the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “Simultaneously we offer our love and support to the families, friends, and community members who are intertwined with these precious souls.”
Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo., who reportedly has a history of anti-Semitism and racism, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of three people on April 13, according to The New York Times. A man and his 14-year-old grandson were killed in the parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a woman was killed in a parking lot at Village Shalom, a senior living community about a mile away.
The General Assembly of the PC(USA) has a history of approving policies that denounce anti-Semitism and affirm a commitment to the Jewish people. The denomination affirms again, and particularly during this celebration of Passover, its position in the wake of this current tragedy.
“We condemn anti-Semitism in the strongest terms. While affirming our close spiritual ties with the Jewish people, we wish to state unequivocally that authentic Christianity can have no complicity in anti-Semitic attitudes or actions of any kind,” the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stated in a resolution adopted in 1990. “We extend the power of our prayers and the weight of our influence to the Jewish community as it faces this threat.”
Gracious and merciful God who sustains us all,
We ask your hand of comfort on all those impacted by this horrific shooting.
Where there are tears, please wipe them.
Where there is heartache, please ease it.
Where there is anger, please quell it.
Wrap your loving arms of protection and care around all whose spirits are wounded,
And bring healing and peace to this and all other situations that need your touch.